In late November 2011 I made the decision to publish my books as ebooks to see what would happen. My first two books, WIDOW, VIRGIN,WHORE and OUTLAW HEROES, had already been published through a print-on-demand publisher but hadn't done much of anything. I had no control over the price of the books and where I could sell them. What I did have, however, were full rights to my books so I took the plunge and self-published on Amazon. Am I ever glad I did!
Before I decided to become an Indie Author full-time, I was earning money from blogging and freelance writing for websites – some that paid very well. Even though I had written three books already and had two already self-published, I was still of the mindset that I needed an agent and a publisher to buy my books so I could finally be a "writer". Then I ran into a blog by an Indie Author, (I will give her a plug here because she deserves it) Lindsay Buroker, that changed my idea about book publishing altogether. After researching the pros and cons of self-publishing ebooks, I decided it was now or never – I was finally going to pursue publishing novels full-time! Since that first day, I have had no regrets and have not looked back.
I knew it would take a long time to build up an audience of readers and I was okay with that. I hoped that once I'd published several books, I would eventually be selling a nice quantity each month, enough to make my dream of full-time novel writing a reality. I had no idea that after only six months (actually, less than) I'd be doing as well as I am – and I am so thrilled about that!
How I'm Doing after Almost Six Months
Of course, the first couple of months were slow with only a trickle of sales. I advertised, promoted and did everything I could for my books to be seen, and in December 2011, I sold roughly 15 books total. In January 2012 I also sold about 15 books. In February, my sales were even smaller, only selling 7 books total. Then, at the end of February, I published my third book, MEMORIES, and right away joined Amazon's KDP Select program and used three of my Free days. Even though I only gave away about 2,000 free books, my sales did fairly well for March. For all three of my books combined in March, I sold almost 300 copies and had quite a few borrowed books as well – and since the rate was fairly high for borrowed books, it helped to increase my earnings quite a bit.
Now, I never expected to sell 300 copies of my books in such a short period of time, but having the Free giveaways on Amazon did help get my books noticed and resulted in sales. I didn't think things could get any better – but in April they did.
My April sales will be coming in at over 500 book sales and 85 borrows. Not bad for only a few months into the game. You will never know just how happy it makes me to see this increasing success after only a few short months.
The Best Part of Being an Indie Author
Selling books is wonderful – earning some money selling books is great – but for me, the most rewarding part has been hearing from readers that they enjoyed reading my books and that they were entertained – even touched – by my stories. Reader's reviews have been amazing and much more than I could ever have asked for. I appreciate each and every person who buys my books and who takes the time to tell me how they feel about my stories.
When I was researching Indie Author's blogs to see if anyone was having success self-publishing, I enjoyed reading about their successes. That is what encouraged me to finally do it myself. Sure, there were the few (very few) who made millions after a short time. But it was the ones, like Lindsay Buroker, who slowly built up their readership and income that encouraged me the most. So, I hope that by sharing this information, I can help other beginning authors see that it is possible to begin a career as an Indie Author and build up a readership as well as earn some money. I can't wait to see what the next six months holds for me!